A Glorious Noise

Outreach events are a regular feature of the annual music calendar but staging a performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria with a scratch adult choir, child soloists, our Chapel Choir and a small band of musicians in just one afternoon was the most ambitious we’ve ever been. Doing all this in the two weeks before the St Cecilia Concert and Footloose might border on insanity. But it was worth it!

The response to our call to ‘come and sing’ was met with a resounding response as around 60 singers from Andover and the surrounding areas all assembled for the first rehearsal of the afternoon. Members of Andover Choral Society and Andover Chamber Choir (rival factions!) sat side-by-side, all commenting on how lovely it was to come together with a common goal. When planning these events, there can never be any certainty as to how everything will come together. The biggest worry is whether we’ve allowed enough, or too much, time to learn the music? In the event, it worked out just fine!

After a couple of hours rehearsing, interspersed with time to mingle and whet whistles, the adults were joined by the Chapel Choir to rehearse their combined movements, followed by a short run through with our merry band of musicians (Mrs Flower, Mrs Henderson, Mr Bolland – doubling on a piccolo trumpet and viola, Ms Benjamin – this time on cello, and Mrs Rockhill).

A hushed silence of anticipation fell as the audience filed into the Recital Hall. Some were thrown by the reversed seating arrangements due to the large size of the choir, Mr Lane almost joined the chorus ranks himself! No one could have failed to be impressed with the quality of choral singing from the very first note: we were in for a ‘glorious’ performance and not just from the adults. Our impressive soloists were drawn from the Chapel Choir with Isla, Amelia & Scarlett ably rising to the challenge of performing the tricky solo movements whilst the Chapel Choir en masse tackled the joyous ‘Laudamus te’.

It was a privilege to lead such an event, a wonderful opportunity for our children to sing with adult voices, and to welcome so many visitors into the Music School; further proof if any was ever needed, that music is one of the few things in life which can bring communities together. A huge thank you to everyone who came to either sing or to support and to everyone behind the scenes who helped to organise the day and to spread the word.